Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Ebook

Juliette is seventeen years old, and her life is looking bleak. She has been locked away and hasn’t spoken or touched anyone in 264 days. She is a lonely girl, and for years others have been afraid of her. Her own parents are very afraid of her and agreed to lock her up. She’s been cursed with a rare and deadly gift, if she touches anyone and holds on long enough, not only does she emit severe pain, she can kill. She has killed, a young boy and she’s been traumatized ever since. The reestablishment has locked her away in solitary confinement but a young man is put into the same cell as Juliette, and she doesn’t know what to think. Initially she is very afraid, after several weeks she begins to trust Adam and show him how to survive. When Juliette is yanked from her cell, and taken to the reestablishment it becomes clear that Adam is not who Juliette thought he was. Adam is a soldier and the leader, Warner has used Adam to evaluate Juliette. Warner intends to use Juliette to fight his cause, and use her gift for his greed. Juliette must decide if she can possibly use her gift to hurt others, and in return live the life of luxuries. Adam might have lied to her, but their chemistry is undeniable. Juliette learns to manipulate Warner while she figures out what she needs to do.

Shatter Me has received an incredible amount of buzz. While this book is a dystopian novel, it focuses more on Juliette and her gift and not so much on her surroundings. Readers are aware that the state of the area is in upheaval, but readers are not aware of the extent.  As a result the world building is lacking. Juliette has been locked away for so long, through her point of view readers are not told very much. The author’s style may be off-putting for some, and certainly takes some time to get use to. The strikethroughs are meant to convey Juliette’s stream of consciousness, and her obvious frustrations, confusion and fear. As Juliette begins to make sense of her world, and gathers the strength and courage to take her life into her own hands, the strikethroughs begin to cease. She has a clearer outlook on her surroundings, a clearer mind. The secondary characters are not very well developed, Adam and Warner are exceptions but still there seems to be background information missing. While the story has its fault, it has readers curious, and holding out for more. 

Overall, I was entertained by Shatter Me. I had my issues with the story, but I kept reading. I was able to connect with Juliette and Adam, and hope for the best.  The story really started to pick up half way through, and then I didn’t want to put it down.  I would actually call it more sci-fi, until we have more of the world building to understand how it is a dystopian. This trilogy has a lot of potential, and I believe my questions will be address in the upcoming books. This is a unique young adult novel, and the buzz has been justified in my opinion.  It held my attention, and introduced some interesting concepts.

P.S I am not a fan of this. I am not a fan of this….


  1. great review but so sad you didnt like it as much as I XD I call this book a dystopian romance so I do understand the lack of secondary characters' growing that you mention though I do not agree with that XD but we all have different opinions.

    Dazzling Reads

  2. @Blodeuedd- The author continually writes like that throughout the book.

    @Natalia I really think book 2 will be better. I didn't like the first half, but enjoyed the last half. I think the writing style threw me off.

  3. I am not sure about this one. The concept sounds rather interesting, but I hate it when the worldbuilding is lacking, and am finding that can ruin my experience with these types of books. I might have to take a closer look at this one to decide and see what I think. Great review today!

  4. This was an odd read for me because while I despised the writing style I wanted to know what happened so I stuck with it to the end. I will not be reading any sequels though. It just annoyed me to no end, and then I read a very well written dystopian book right afterward (Legend by Marie Lu) that reinforced how much I didn't like Shatter Me.

  5. Aww really? I really thought you would love this. Well can't love everything you read right? I'm glad to hear that you were able to connect with Juliette and Adam and like you I feel that we will get to learn more about the state the world is in and the other characters from the books that follow.

  6. Ha Ha! I actually liked the strike-throughs. This one does have some flaws, but I still loved it. Good review.

  7. I'm currently reading it, and I'm not bothered by the strikes but I'm really annoyed with her comma usage. Wonderful review, I agree with the points you made.

  8. This seems be a popular read but I am not convinced it is something I should read. Although I must say the strike-throughs have me intrigued. And it is another trilogy! Maybe I'll wait to see how everyone likes the next installments!